Friday, January 6, 2012

RIP Helen B. Phelps 07/06/1917 to 01/05/2012

Phelps, Helen B. 94 July 6, 1917 January 5, 2012 Helen B. Phelps died peacefully in her sleep. She was born in Orornogo, Missouri to Maggie Mae Strawhun Taylor and Virgil E. Taylor. Virgil was in the US Army fighting WWI at the time. She was raised by her grandmother whom she called Mom, and sometimes by Maggie whom she called Mother. Helen married Jim Brown when she was 16 and they had two baby girls who were stillborn. (Margaret Sue and Helen Rosalie). After they divorced, she married Albert Charles McCorkle, the man she called the love of her life. Their first child, John Patrick died a few hours after birth. Their next, Sandra de Helen survives them both, in Portland. Their third, son Howard Allen, also lived only a few hours. Their last child, Alberta lives with her husband Tim Mobley in Jefferson City, Missouri. They were caring for Helen and with her at the time of her death. Albert died in 1951, and Helen remarried. Her last husband was Lloyd Phelps and he also predeceased Helen in 1973. Helen has four living grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandson. She retired from Rawling’s Sporting Goods factory in Newburg, MO, where she was president of her union local for over 20 years. Helen was known for writing poems all her life, often to commemorate special occasions. After Helen moved to Portland, Oregon to live with her daughter Sandra in 1981, she often helped design and build costumes and props including a giant lavender satin hand, and a bat that flew through the audience. Helen led an active life and will be deeply missed by her family and friends, including many in the LGBTQ and theatre community.
I wanted to run this ad in the Oregonian with a photo, but I can't afford to run an obit in the Oregonian. It costs more than NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR ONE DAY. I especially wanted to run the obit in JUST OUT, but Just Out predeceased my Mom by four weeks. So I hope my friends who knew my Mom in the 80's will find her here. Mom always supported my theatre work, came to my plays, entertained my friends with her character. This is for you Mom.